For some time now I have been thinking of visiting Martinique and reconnecting with old friends whom I hadn't seen for over 20 plus years.
Last week the local airline had a two for one sale so my sister and I took advantage of this deal.
In order to enter Martinique I needed to have a reservation at a hotel or guest house, travel insurance and if I am staying with friends a certificate from the Town hall giving permission to my friends to host me. Now I thought that was really ridiculous because they have waived the visa requirements for my country but they insist on making it very difficult for us to visit. Not only must I send a photocopy of my passport but my friends must also pay a ridiculous fee to the local authorities, it is the same as applying for a visa. So I decided to get around it by reserving a room at a local Bed and Breakfast for a few nights and then leave to stay at my friend's house. Mind you the French can visit my country with very few restrictions. All they have to do is to give the name and the address of the person they are staying with and have a return ticket. We do not have to ask the state permission to host someone at our homes.
I went on line to find a Chambre D’hôte /Bed and Breakfast and found this delightful place on the eastern side of the island called Les Bougainvillers located in the suburbs of Francois on a site called sous les cocotiers. It is run by a charming young lady by the name of Véronique.
I made reservations for two, included was my sister who had never been to Martinique before.
We were met by Veronique at the airport and taken to our home away from home. It was exactly that, a home away from home. The island was lush from the recent rains and fruits like mangoes and carambolas were falling off the trees.
le petit déjeuner chez les bougainvilliers
The five nights we spent there were very enjoyable. The views were breathtaking. Breakfast and dinner time were most entertaining. We got around by taking the local bus which we found it quite expensive. Apart from that we were able to mingle with the local population.
New church being constructed at Francois.
Town Hall in Francois
We met a wonderful Frenchman by the name of Jose who was staying at the same Bed and Breakfast and was on a working holiday. He took us under his wing and took us to visit many of the Rum Distilleries that were on his work schedule. He loved the beach so we were invited to accompany him to the beach in Marin.
To be continued